Empire of Storms By Sarah J. Maas | Book Review

 RATING: another incredible installment (4.5) // AMAZON

PAGES: 519 PAGES | PUBLISHER: SIMON & SCHUSTER

FORMAT: HARDCOVER | SOURCE: BOUGHT AGE GROUP: YOUNG ADULT

 

28260587GOODREADS SUMMARY

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin’s journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

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Cover ThoughtsTo be honest I’m not the biggest fan of the ToG covers. Although I do like the typography of the title, which gives off an ancient and regal vibe. The arc of fire is cool too since Aelin is able to control fire, and the gray scheme goes well the the overall arc of the book since war is looming in their future.
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Wow. Just wow. Sarah J. Maas has created another incredible installment in the Throne of Glass series.

Before starting Empire of Storms, I would recommend rereading the series or even just Queen of Shadows. You’re instantly thrown back into the world of Throne of Glass, so I found the beginning to be a bit slow because my mind was trying to remember all the characters.

Sidenote: If you haven’t already read The Assassin’s Blade, I would highly recommend picking it up to get a better understanding of some of the characters and story.

In Empire of Storms, Aelin is trying to rebuild her court while fighting the threat of Erawan and Queen Meave. We are able to delve even deeper into the world Maas has created, and learn more about the horde of characters she has introduced to us. While Empire of Storms delivers the expected action, romance, adventure, frustration, and bewilderment, what stood out to me was my grown interest in each individual character. In Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows I begrudgingly read chapters that weren’t directly associated to Celaena/Aelin. Chapters from Manon’s POV never really interested me, but in Empire of Storms I became invested in each character’s own plotline.

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2017 Goals

2017-goals

Hi y’all!

It went pretty radio silent while I was at college. It was my first semester and I wanted to focus on learning to balance my academics and athletics before tackling blogging too. (I play lacrosse at Brown University!)

I had an amazing first semester at college, and I’m so thankful for all the memories I’ve made. Even though I was miles away from home, Providence soon began to feel like my second home. I’ve met so many incredible people, and I’ve already made so many friendships I know will last a lifetime. I went to the same school for 10 years, so it’s been great to get to meet so many cool new people.

My schedule was packed with classes, schoolwork, practice, and social activities. Honestly for me the first semester was just about learning how to survive balancing my academic and athletic pursuits. But I found myself missing blogging and reading. Although the two don’t go hand in hand, it became difficult for me to motivate myself to pick up a book in my free time when I’d rather nap or watch Netflix. Over break, I rekindled my love for reading and realized how much I missed reading and even blogging.

Thus I’ve decided to give my two loves a try in a new environment. I know it’s going to be difficult, but I’m excited for what’s to come! I’m going to be starting my second semester at college and entering into my first collegiate lacrosse season. I’m beyond excited to see what’s in store for me in 2017!

Blog Goals

1. Less is More

I tend to get overwhelmed when I think I need to post 2-3 times a week to maintain a good blog, and I end up with a bunch of filler posts or no posts at all. I think this year I should focus on publishing less posts with better content. Although it would be great to publish a post at least once a week, I think I should focus on publishing one great post despite the lapse of time.

2. Balance and Time Management

Haha this could be applied to all aspects of my life too. It’s been something I’ve always struggled with, and I think my first semester at college was an eye-opening experience in this regard. Although I still struggle with procrastination and distractions, I’ve learned a lot about prioritizing and managing my time.

3. Read MORE

I think every college student struggles with finding time to read for fun. For me my free time was usually spent napping, watching Netflix, or hanging with friends. By the time I’ve read pages of notes or textbooks, I’m not exactly in the mood to stare at more words. Sometimes I just want to sit back, relax, and watch TV. I’m hoping restarting my blog will encourage me to pick up a book during my free time instead of lounging around on my phone or laptop.

Life Goals

meet new people & form new friendships | explore more of Providence | have an awesome first season | manage time better! study more often! | use bullet journal more | write more | take advantage of everything Brown offers | find a summer internship or job | take more risks | have fun!

COMMENT DOWN BELOW!

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR 2017?

THANKS FOR READING VIVALABOOKS!
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Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week is Top Ten Tuesday REWIND… Last month I saw everyone doing posts about things books inspired them to do, and I loved reading about all of them. Thus this week I decided to pick what things books made me want to do in real life! (Click the book covers to check out the book on Goodreads.)

17838528 scavenger hunt

Palmer’s scavenger hunt in THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING was one of my favorite parts of the book! And I really want to do one with my friends. 🙂

Laura Jean in TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE gave me serious baking envy, and I felt very inspired to try to go into the kitchen and try to bake.

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Although I don’t think I’ll ever write fan fiction, Cath in FANGIRL made me really want to whip out a notebook and start writing.

I adore THE GALLAGHER GIRLS series, and it only fueled my childhood dream of being an international spy. Plus how cool would it be to attend a school for spies?!?!

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STACKING THE SHELVES (22)

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

I was trying hard not to buy any new books since I already have too many I need to read on my shelves, but I couldn’t help myself. I finally gave into all the hype, and bought This Savage Song. I’ve been dying to read it every since I heard about it and I couldn’t wait any longer! Since Sarah J Maas’s Empire of Storms is coming out soon, I preordered it and decided to reread the series #MaasMarathon. I had all the Throne of Glass books except the original book, and I decided to order Crown of Midnight too, since my ARC of COM was damaged after a run in with a rainstorm. (It’s a complicated story). Also I bought some highlighters I’ve seen a lot of people use in their bullet journals. I recently got a Leuchtturm 1917 notebook, and I’ve been having so much fun with my August spread so far!

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ZEBRA MIDLINER HIGHLIGHTERS

THRONE OF GLASS by sarah j maas

CROWN OF MIDNIGHT BY sarah j maas

THIS SAVAGE SONG by victoria schwab

I recently signed up to get an ARC of Leah Clifford’s Vial Things, and I’m super excited to dive into this book. I haven’t read a lot of books about resurrectionists, so I’m very interested in learning more. And Leah Clifford sent the sweetest letter thanking me for reviewing the book!

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VIAL THINGS by leah clifford (ebook arc)

WHAT BOOKS DID Y’ALL GET THIS WEEK?

WHAT BOOK SHOULD I READ FIRST?

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The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | Book Talk

RATING: The epitome of summer!

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If you haven’t read The Unexpected everything  check out MY REVIEW first.

After you’ve finished reading come back and join the discussion!

BEWARE OF SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT

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Books can make you feel a wide range of emotions. And The Unexpected Everything made me feel all the fun feels. No joke this book is the epitome of summer. If summer could somehow be contained in a single book, it would be The Unexpected Everything. I adored reading this book, and I can’t wait to talk to y’all about it! Let’s dive in…

As I mentioned in my review, the RELATIONSHIPS were everything in this book. The father-daughter. The friends. The 4 besties. The boyfriend. I loved it all. And I wanted more! (Honestly I would read a book about all of them just hanging out.)

We start off the book learning that Andie’s father is in the middle of a huge political scandal. There was a misuse of funds, and her father decides to take a leave of absence from Congress during the investigation. We’re immediately shown the obvious distance between Andie and her father through their awkward interactions and the unfamiliarity surrounding the two. Also we’re introduced to Andie’s group of friends right in the beginning via text messages. (Of course Toby is already using emojis) I loved reading the girls banter through their texts!

Let’s do a quick intro of the girls… Palmer, Bri, and Toby. Palmer’s the more carefree and fun one who is dating Tom, Toby was overly dramatic and boy crazy, and Bri was the funny film geek. I felt like I could’ve been besties with Palmer. She seemed like a great friend and a lot of fun. And Bri & Toby were an entertaining duo who were always attached to the hip.

It felt very high school when Andie’s friends snuck her out of her house by hiding her under a blanket to take her to a party. And, even though I just graduated, it still made me feel nostalgic (and a little old too). At this party, we learn that Andie has a problem with commitment. She seems to almost always have a boyfriend, but they usually don’t last longer than 3 weeks. Dang girl! We’re also introduced to Topher, who was her first kiss and on and off again hook up. We didn’t really get much out of his character, but if things had gone another way I totally could have seen them ending up together. (But glad they didn’t… because well CLARK!)

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July 2016 Wrap Up

monthly wrap up

INSTAGRAM ROUND UP

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events in july

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  1. BROWN LAX CAMP… I attended a lacrosse camp at Brown in the beginning of July, and it made me so excited for the next four years! I love all the girls in my commit class, and the girls I met at camp were so sweet and fun.
  2. 7/11… Free slurpees 🙂
  3. FRIENDS… I’ve been trying to squeeze in as much time as possible with my friends before we all leave for college. I still have a month till I leave, but most of my friends have only a couple weeks before they’re gone. We’ve had pool parties, homemade fam dinners, and lots of movie nights. It’s been fun hanging out with all of them, and I’m going to miss them so much!
  4. NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY… Pretty self explanatory. Who doesn’t love ice cream?!?!
  5. BALTIMORE LAX TRIP… I had a lacrosse tournament in Baltimore, which was fun but burning hot. Another plus side was the awesome foodcrabs & baltimore bomb pie!
  6. BIRTHDAY MONTH… July was my birthday month! I can’t believe I’m 19 now. I don’t feel like I’m any closer to being an adult, and I have no idea how I’m going to survive college. It’s weird that I’m officially in my last year as a teenager.

july reading list

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July wasn’t my best reading month… But I did do a lot of rereading. It was nice to revisit some of my old favorite books, and due to my bad memory it was almost like reading the book again for the first time. I’m a little disappointed in how little I read in July, but I’m going to work on making more time for reading in August!

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The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | Book Review

 RATING: the epitome of summer! (5/5) // AMAZON

PAGES: 519 PAGES | PUBLISHER: simon & schuster

FORMAT: hardcover | SOURCE: BOUGHT AGE GROUP: YOUNG ADULT


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SUMMARY

Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

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Cover ThoughtsThis cover is so fun and just screams summer. If the vibrant colors and happy dogs aren’t summery enough for you, then the ice cream truck will for sure do the trick. I feel like this cover is just a ray of sunshine on my shelf. Plus I always end up craving ice cream after looking at it, which can never a bad thing.
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Morgan Matson has done it again. I’ve been loving contemporaries recently, and The Unexpected Everything is the perfect summer read! It has an adorable romance, an entertaining group of friends, a sweet on the mend father-daughter relationship, cute dogs, and an epic scavenger hunt. What more could you ask for in a book?

Andie has the perfect summer planned. She’s going to John Hopkins for a pre-med program, which will help boost her resume. Well that was the plan, until her father’s political scandal leads to her un-acceptance to her summer program, and she’s stuck without anything the summer before her senior year. Andie is in full out panic mode, but finds an intriguing yet vague flyer that ends up becoming her new summer job—dog walking—and results in a very eventful summer. (special s/o to Bertie)

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Summer Book Recommendations

SUMMER

I know summer is almost over, but I thought it’d still be fun to share my summer book recommendations. We still have about half of July and most of August! Plus summer time is perfect for catching up on reading and trying new books.

cute contemporaries (summer)

For me, summer screams contemporaries. I tend to lean towards fantasy, but during the summer I find myself drawn towards the contemporary titles instead. It might be the nostalgia that comes with summer vacation or the fun adventures or the swoony romances or the new experiences that make contemporaries so compelling in the summer. Maybe it’s the sunny weather that makes a person want to read something light and fun. I’m not quite sure, but summer has always been the perfect time for a cute contemporary! (Sidenote: I’m an idiot and misspelled Kasie’s name to Katie… Please forgive)

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STACKING THE SHELVES (21)

sts copy

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Half Price Books was having a sale, so of course I had to stop by and see what books I could pick up. Even though I was there recently, I was still able to snag a few awesome finds. I can’t wait to read these books, and I love how all of them go together quite nicely. Such a happy accident!

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IVORY AND BONE BY JULIE ESHBAUGH

THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN BY HOLLY BLACK

THERE WILL COME A TIME BY CARRIE ARCOS

WHAT BOOKS DID Y’ALL GET THIS WEEK?

WHAT BOOK SHOULD I READ FIRST?

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Zero Day by Jan Gangsei | Book Review

 RATING: Political thriller filled with suspense (3.5/5) // AMAZON

PAGES: 368 PAGES | PUBLISHER: Disney hyperion

FORMAT: ebook | SOURCE: BOUGHT AGE GROUP: YOUNG ADULT


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SUMMARY

Eight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping of the decade. Addie vanished—and her high-profile parents were forced to move on.

Mark Webster is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the Oval Office after a tumultuous first term. Then, the unthinkable happens: the president’s daughter resurfaces. Addie is brought back into her family’s fold…but who is this sixteen-year-old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House? There are those in the administration who find her timely return suspicious.

When a national security advisor approaches Darrow Fergusson, Addie’s childhood best friend and the son of the president’s chief of staff, he doesn’t know what to think. How could the girl he’s missed for all these years be a threat to the United States? Still, at the risk of having his own secrets exposed, Darrow agrees to spy on Addie.

He soon realizes that his old friend is much more than the traumatized victim of a political fringe group. Addie has come with a mission…but will she choose to complete it?

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Cover Thoughts I bought the ebook copy of Zero Day, so I haven’t seen the cover in person. At first glance, the cover doesn’t seem to have much going on, but when I took a closer look I was surprised by the detail. The background seems to be some sort of code with random phrases, like “DON’T TELL” and “THEY’RE WATCHING,” which is super creepy and goes along perfectly with the computer hacking in this book. And I like the contrast of the American flag lettering against the dark background.
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Ever since I started watching the TV show Scandal, I’ve been drawn to political thrillers, so I was beyond excited after reading the premise of Zero Day. It quickly shot up to the top of my 2016 Debut Novels list, and I found myself with a great read full of lots of unexpected twists and turns.

Addie Webster was kidnapped at a young age from her family, but she resurfaces 8 years later to find her father is the president of the United States. Around the same time, a hacker terrorist group becomes bolder with each attack. The stakes are high for all involved, and nothing is what it seems.

There are multiple POVs in Zero Day, but the main ones are Addie and Darrow. I liked Addie, and her unreliability made the book even more startling. If I couldn’t even trust the MC, then what on earth was actually going on? She seemed to be suffering from Stockholm syndrome, and it was interesting to read about Addie struggling to adjust to her new life. I also liked to use the few flashbacks we were given to attempt to piece together what was going on in her mind.

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